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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 3, 2011 2:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why Don't You Like the 80's?

Nice post.
It'll surprise no one that I'm also a big Pigpen & Keith fan, and not a Brent fan at all, so I won't get into that. It's interesting how divisive Brent is...some say he's just great & others can't stand him...

You mention a few other interesting things though, that are new to the list, like the Healy mixes. Performing in stadiums caught my eye - perhaps that was deleterious, and certainly it wasn't what the band wanted; by '91 Jerry was moaning to everyone how much he hated stadiums and was sick of playing with the Dead. (Apparently that was one reason he got on heroin again that year.) But the band adjusted to stadiums - they'd been playing pretty big places since '72, so they were no stranger to big crowds.

The fan adulation itself, though, I think contributed to the burnout. Deadheads were notorious for being uncritical & supportive, so the band got the same responses when it flopped as when it flew. Other musicians have also complained how hard it is to keep striving to be at your best when the fans don't seem to care what you play & just showing up is enough.
Weir said in '81: "The undiscriminating and unconditional love and admiration of all those people doesn't do a whole lot for the music, I'll say. We can do anything - we don't have a very critical audience. For instance, on a bad night, if the crowd goes wild after we just rendered a relatively dismal set, I feel horrible about that. I don't think they should clap at all - they should run us out of town on a rail, and they never do."

Jerry, as usual, was more blase about it. In 1980: "It's nice that they're patient and they cut us a lot of slack... They give us a lot of room. We aren't under any particular pressure to perform the greatest hits - they welcome unfamiliar stuff... We have great freedom. We can go out there and play anything, really."
And ten years later: "They know when we have a bad night, and they appreciate a good try... They've allowed themselves that latitude to enjoy a show for lots of different reasons. I think that's in their favor - no matter what the experience has been, they don't get burned."

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: Aug 3, 2011 11:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why Don't You Like the 80's?

"It's interesting how divisive Brent is...some say he's just great & others can't stand him..."

I find it totally amazing. I have buddies that live for brent. I recently made my buddy a few mixes of pure brent goodness. I try to get them to understand early 70's late 60s stuff but they just dont get it. They surely enjoy it, But when an 80s deal or minglewood comes on, they're in heaven.

I have a hard time understanding why many peeps think brent was a bad keyboardist, or on a lower level than pig or keith. His addition to jams just seems obvious, hes more present, and maybe thats what people don't like. That he detracts attention from the boys.

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Aug 4, 2011 9:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why Don't You Like the 80's?

see my post here regarding brent and keith: http://www.archive.org/post/387567/what-do-you-like-about-the-80s

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Aug 4, 2011 8:57am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Why Don't You Like the 80's?

Re: People being uncritical of bad performances.

I can't speak for the pre-coma years, but I gather that from December 1986 on most fans considered it kind of a miracle that Jerry was onstage playing the guitar at all. That in itself was something worth cheering for.